Sunday, April 24, 2011

Avaaz thinks Linda Keen was responsible for Earthquake Safety?

Here we have a video put out by Avaaz entitled "Canada: take back democracy":


The script for this piece was obviously written in Avaaz's headquarters in New York City, by someone completely removed from Canada, since who else would write:

"When Parliament criticized Stephen Harper, he shut it down When our nuclear watchdog raised the alarm on earthquake safety, Harper forced her out."

Earthquake safety? Hello? At least try to get the facts straight before criticizing Stephen Harper from afar, as there are no shortage of things to criticize the man for, including his ability to distort facts and make false accusations.....just like Avaaz themselves, it would appear.

I love the use of the word "our" in this video. Just who do they mean by "our", since the people who wrote this video are obviously not Canadians, since Linda Keen is responsible for nuclear safety and not earthquake safety and it's not like Canada has a big problem with earthquakes.


Anonymous said...

Actually, they are correct. She criticized the government over their lack of earthquake upgrades at our nuclear facilities.

Brent Fullard said...

Earthquakes were a hypothetcal risk, leaks were the real risk:

Nuke spill at Chalk River
Tue, January 27, 2009

Leaks and technical problems are plaguing operations at the aging Chalk River nuclear facility. (File photo)

A radioactive spill has occurred at the aging Chalk River nuclear reactor west of the capital after the facility was recently cranked up to double its normal output of medical isotopes, used in diagnosing and treating cancer, Sun Media has learned.

The reactor is supplying up to 70% of the world's medical isotopes, and a shutdown could leave millions of cancer and heart patients in Canada and around the globe without critical treatments.

But the radioactive spill and another ongoing leak at the reactor are bound to spark renewed controversy over the safety of the nuclear facility built in 1958.

An internal report to federal nuclear regulators shows radioactive tritium was released into the air during the incident at the Chalk River reactor on Dec. 5.

Atomic Energy of Canada officials running the 51-year-old reactor reported they managed to contain another 800 litres of contaminated water now being stored in special drums.

The report states there was no threat to the health of workers at the reactor, and officials say the tritium released into the air posed no significant danger to the surrounding environment.

Nonetheless, after a brief shutdown, the reactor has continued to operate at full power, even though Chalk River officials admit they don't know what caused the leak, and say it could happen again.

Documents indicate officials at Atomic Energy took four days to report the spill to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Even then, the spill proved to be five times larger than what the officials initially reported.

They didn't go out of their way to inform the public, either.

A press release about the brief shutdown of the reactor in December made no mention of a spill, only "unanticipated technical challenges."


Meanwhile, another part of the reactor has sprung a water leak from a 2.4-inch crack in a weld. That leak has not been repaired since it was first reported more than six weeks ago.

Instead, technicians are simply pumping water into the unit to replace the estimated 7,000 litres a day spewing from the cracked seam.

In answer to written questions from Sun Media, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission said the leaking water from the failed weld has "a very low level of radioactivity" and is not a safety concern.

The water is being dumped into the Ottawa River.

Atomic energy spokesman Dale Coffin says the crack in the seam could require up to a month of work to repair, "but right now our schedule doesn't allow us to do that."

The reactor is producing almost double its normal medical isotope output to make up for a shutdown of the world's largest producer in the Netherlands, expected to last until spring.

As a result, shutting down the Chalk River facility for a month for repairs -- or even a week -- would likely pull the plug on 6,000 cancer treatments a week in Canada alone.

Last year, Stephen Harper's government fired the country's chief nuclear regulator, Linda Keen, after she ordered the Chalk River reactor shut down to upgrade its safety systems -- notably, water pumps.

The move caused the cancellation of thousands of cancer treatments across the country, and sparked a political furore.

But Keen's subsequent firing also drew political criticism of the government for interfering with the nuclear regulator, possibly putting public safety at risk.

WesternGrit said...

The founders of Avaaz are Canadian. Keen was responsible for all safety at the plants - including earthquakes.

Brent Fullard said...

Western Grit:

You are right about Linda Keen being responsible for all aspects of nuclear safety, including earthquakes, but wrong about Avaaz whose website reads:

Who started Avaaz? was co-founded by Res Publica, a global civic advocacy group, and, an online community that has pioneered internet advocacy in the United States. Our co-founding team was also composed of a group of leading global social entrepreneurs from six countries, including our founding President and Executive Director Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, Tom Pravda, Eli Pariser, Andrea Woodhouse, Jeremy Heimans, and David Madden.

Res Publica
857 Broadway, 3rd floor
New York, NY 10003
tel. +1 917-388-3988

What is MoveOn™?

The MoveOn family of organizations brings real Americans back into the political process. With 5 million members across America — from carpenters to stay-at-home moms to business leaders – we work together to realize the progressive promise of our country. MoveOn is a service — a way for busy but concerned citizens to find their political voice in a system dominated by big money and big media.

The MoveOn family of organizations is made up of a couple of different pieces. Civic Action, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, formerly known just as, primarily focuses on education and advocacy on important national issues. Political Action, a federal PAC, formerly known as MoveOn PAC, mobilizes people across the country to fight important battles in Congress and help elect candidates who reflect our values. Both organizations are entirely funded by individuals.

Every member has a voice in choosing the direction for both Political Action and Civic Action. Using our ActionForum software, you can propose priorities and strategies. Both organizations also take the initiative to organize quick action on other timely issues that our members care about.
A short history Civic Action was started by Joan Blades and Wes Boyd, two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Although neither had experience in politics, they shared deep frustration with the partisan warfare in Washington D.C. and the ridiculous waste of our nation's focus at the time of the impeachment mess. On September 18th 1998, they launched an online petition to "Censure President Clinton and Move On to Pressing Issues Facing the Nation." Within days they had hundreds of thousands of individuals signed up, and began looking for ways these voices could be heard.

In 1998, MoveOn PAC was formed as a political action committee so that like-minded, concerned citizens could influence the outcome of congressional elections, and in turn, the balance of power in Washington, D.C. Now known as Political Action, this organization provides individuals, who normally have little political power, an opportunity to aggregate their contributions with others to gain a greater voice in the political process, and brings people together to take important stands on the most important issues facing our country.

The MoveOn Peace campaign was founded independently by Eli Pariser, a Maine native and recent graduate of Simon's Rock College of Bard. In the days following September 11th, 2001, he launched an online petition calling for a restrained and multi-lateral response to the attacks, which was quickly signed by more than half a million people. Eli joined forces with MoveOn soon afterward, and is now Political Action’s Executive Director.

Anonymous said...

The script should have been nuclear safety and not earth quake safety, somebody screwed up.


Anonymous said...

Not surprised about Avaaz ...
After their endorsement of the NDP on something a few years ago and coming to the realization they know nothing about Canada, my household stopped signing their petitions.
Avaaz has good intentions but if they can't get their facts straight, they have the potential to do more damage than good.

Brent Fullard said...


I think I was a bit harsh and too literal in my criticism of Avaaz, since there was a dimension about "earthquake risk" to the overall Linda Keen situation and her firing by Harper. It's just that the earthquake dimension to the Linda Keen situation was not as prominent as Avaaz is making it in this Youtube video, as they are obviously attempting to making a parallel argument to the situation in Japan.

Fair enough, on further reflection.

I agree with you that Avaaz has good intentions and I have signed two of their petitions to date...the one dealing with Harper's penchant for proroguing and the one concerning releasing the Auditor General's report on G8/G20 spending.

I will continue to sign their petitions, if I think they make sense.

WesternGrit said...

Care to guess which country Ricken Patel is from? Hmmm?

Brent Fullard said...

Western Grit:

In all fairness your original comment was:

"The founders of Avaaz are Canadian"

I guess one out of ten ain't bad?

Here's what Wikipedia has to say: was co-founded by ResPublica, an American community of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance, civic virtue and deliberative democracy, and, an American non-profit progressive public policy advocacy group and political action committee. The organization was also supported by Service Employees International Union, a founding partner, and Avaaz's individual co-founders include Executive Director Ricken Patel (a Canadian citizen living in New York),[4] Virginia congressman Tom Perriello, Australian progressive entrepreneur David Madden, Jeremy Heimans (co-founders of, Andrea Woodhouse, Tom Pravda, and MoveOn Executive Director Eli Pariser.[5]

WesternGrit said...

He is the main spokesperson.